Falls and associated complications in adults with haemophilia

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Risk factors for falls in the general population are frequently identified in patients with haemophilia. Screening for fall risk can help prevent significant injury in populations with high rates of falls and associated complications. We aimed to describe the rates of falls, injurious falls, near falls, and activity restriction due to fear of falling in a population of adults with haemophilia, an inherited bleeding disorder. Subjects completed a questionnaire inquiring about fall history over the previous 12 months at study onset (time 1) and again approximately 12 months later (time 2). In all, 75 patients with haemophilia between the ages of 18 and 85 participated. The annual fall rate was 33% at time 1, and 23% at time 2. 13% of subjects reported recurrent falls. The annual fall injury rate was 15% at time 1, and 16% at time 2. 63 % of subjects reported near falls at time 1, and 49% at time 2. 16% of subjects reported activity restriction due to fear of falling at time 1, and 21% at time 2. Rates of falls, recurrent falls, and fall-related injury in haemophilia patients in this study are similar to or higher than those found in community-dwelling adults aged 65 years and older, although our subjects were younger on average. These high rates were reported across all disease severities. Near falls were common among all subjects and rates of activity restriction were generally lower than those reported in older adults living in the community. Results should be replicated. Haemophilia patients should be questioned about fall history and further research into optimal fall risk prevention in this population is warranted.

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